• Check out the Free Press founder's new Rhode Island/New England sports blog
  • http://providencesportsscribe.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Women's Hockey mid-season player reports

Nicole Anderson- While not quite an instant hit, the rookie Anderson has bolted out of the left corner to make her towering stature and supreme wingspan an overwhelming power play mace. In all, she has slugged home nine goals, six of them during 5-on-4 segments and nearly all of them executed in a fashion that pays homage to Phil Esposito and Ryan Smyth. Also, other than classmate Jessie Vella, who has played but five games and scored on each of her two shots, Anderson boasts a team-best .196 accuracy rate.

Kate Bacon- Still thawing out after two separate bouts of injury sidelined her for a total of seven games, Bacon finally tuned the mesh for the first time this season at Boston College just before the break. Part II of the season might make a better measuring pole for the progressing sophomore.

Jess Cohen- A stimulating October (six points in her first six games) has rapidly given way to a rut of frustration (two points in her last 13 games). In her four most recent outings, she has not so much as recorded a shot on goal. While head coach Bob Deraney insists that the break is somewhat untimely for the team, some individuals could use the respite for psychological retooling. The rookie Cohen would be definitely one of them.

Ashley Cottrell- She’s putting the puck in the net. She’s making plays. She’s blocking shots and getting right back up from it. She bears one of the team’s better plus/minus ratings. She’s victorious at the face-off dot more often than not. What more can be asked of this sizzling sophomore that she hasn’t been doing already?

Lauren Covell- A defensive convert from forward, Covell has pitched in a pleasantly surprising five points so far, although they’ve been coming at a slightly lesser rate than they were in October.

Jackie Duncan- Continuing her career-long bout with off-and-on ailments, Duncan missed the first 12 games and has since taken her time thawing out through seven appearances. Like most of her associates in both the grinders’ department and the fresh-off-the-sideline committee, Duncan’s second half task is to adopt consistent health and help to deepen the Friars’ charts by sculpting a formidable fourth line.

Christina England- The junior stopper finally got a slurp of regular season NCAA action, even if it was only four minutes and 48 seconds worth of firefighting duty in the Mayor’s Cup. What can she do? Genevieve Lacasse is just playing up to her lofty standards.

Jennifer Friedman- The data doesn’t lie. Friedman bears the lone positive plus/minus (+4) amongst all of her blue line peers and, behind Amber Yung, is the most regular point-based puckslinger with 32 registered shots, including 13 on the power play. Although, those shots have been a tad less frequent of late than they were in October.

Abby Gauthier- On a team that has only recently perked up its offense, Gauthier is still one of the less frequent shooters and scorers and, more frightfully, is enduring a minus-7 rating. In the last two games before her well-timed respite, she found herself linked up with senior grinders Jackie Duncan and Pam McDevitt. No telling who she’ll be working with on the other side of the 2010 ball-drop, but she can consider everything a fresh start.

Emily Groth- Only one appearance so far, chiefly owing to a prolonged injury, so there really isn’t much yet to gauge on the rookie’s progress. Expect her to be worked in at least periodically when other personnel need a breather.

Christie Jensen- If nothing else, Jensen could stand to spruce up her minus-8 rating. She has pitched in a little more in the attacking zone, taking 20 shots and scoring two assists to already exceed her freshman totals. But she needs to attend to her day job on the home front, first and foremost.

Genevieve Lacasse- Her stats aren’t as sparkling as they were during her rookie season, but Lacasse has responded favorably to the extra demand that comes with having one unripe backup as opposed to the three backups she had last season –one of whom was a senior. The Scarborough Save-ior has played in all but 9:48 of the total crease time and has battled through eight overtime periods and six shootouts. The more she keeps PC afloat every night, the more minutes she is going to consume.

Colleen Martin- The defensive captain was rather adventurous at the start of the year, and it seemed to work to a benefit. Through her first seven games, she dropped 15 shots on goal –and not all of them were from her blue line perch- pitched in a goal and three assists, had a plus-2 rating, and the team was a satisfactory 3-2-2, with only one regulation loss. Since Thanksgiving, Martin has regained a little of that touch with another two helpers, but not before a cold spell that coincided with a uncharacteristic plus/minus plunge and a nearly-winless November for the team.

Pam McDevitt- The senior Southie’s stick has slept all through the first half, landing but four shots on net in 18 games. Given that she now has, at best, two full months left to work with in her career, it will be interesting to see if McDevitt gets a boost from the emotional sparkplug.

Jean O’Neill- Not unlike the team in general, O’Neill would like to return to the type of game she was submitting in the first three weeks of the season. She bolted right out for five points in as many games, but has since sprinkled an identical five markers over the last 14 ventures. But this too should be mentioned: amongst all of PC’s game day mainstays, O’Neill has a team-low three minor penalties.

Arianna Rigano- Rigano has already surpassed her 2008-09 output, virtually fastened permanent membership in the top six half of the depth chart, leads the team with 63 shots on goal, and is tied with Friedman in the plus/minus category. Still, there’s room for improvement. If she can continue to shoot with as much frequency but with some added accuracy, that plus/minus will climb higher, and so too might the Friars’ viability.

Leigh Riley- The junior defender is right on the even fence under the plus/minus heading and has generally hovered right around that radius for the better part of the season. It’s a number certainly better than what most of her teammates have been achieving, but it could stand to escalate.

Alyse Ruff- The durable Ruff has adjusted nicely to her added responsibilities as a center –especially on the power play, where five of her 10 points have been cultivated thus far. But she is still on pace to finish with about the same scoring totals as in her freshman and sophomore years rather than excel that output. Therefore, Ruff –especially being a veteran anchor on a still quite youthful scoring brigade- should vie to tune up her productivity rate a notch or two in the second half.

Bre Schwarz- No goals, no assists, not even a shot on net in 14 appearances. For lack of a gentler assessment, somebody has a few holiday wishes/New Year’s resolutions to make before Part II of the season.

Laura Veharanta- Veharanta’s case of Deadened Stick Syndrome seemed to carry all the over from about last Groundhog Day to Halloween. Since then, though, she has rapidly reignited. The sophomore winger has planted seven points in her last 10 games and in an active six-game scoring streak has had a hand in five power play goals. Friartownies naturally hope the December deceleration doesn’t refreeze her game.

Jessie Vella- Right from her long-delayed debut –which was pushed off for 14 games due to injury- Vella has made an encouraging impression with a 2-2-4 transcript in just five appearances. If she can come back to start Part II and continue with her venturesome playmaking tendencies and fire a little more at the net, it might go a long way towards the continued revival of PC’s long-middleweight offense.

Amber Yung- The junior defender is showing a little more of her freshman self, already with seven total points, including four assists and 20 shots on net charged up on the power play. Now if only she, like so many of her mates, can do something to elevate that negative-5 plus/minus rating…